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Portrait of Robert Burton Hubele

Robert Burton Hubele

About Robert Burton Hubele

Vancouver, Canada

Hubele is the oldest of eight children. raised in the prairies of southern Alberta, Canada. At 14, he worked at a steel mill and then became a heavy equipment operator. At 21, he wrote his first song.

Hubele’s music is original jazz and blues. He plays slide dobro and acoustic and electric guitar. Hubele’s warm, deep dynamic voice and polished delivery of originals and standards enthrall his audiences. He performs solo, as a duo or trio, or in front of a big band.

Hubele’s world view is that love and harmony are all. Writing songs and giving concerts are Hubele’s form of procreation - leaving a mark on the world - causing people to see their lives in a new, more harmonious light. And it is not always the big things in life that are the most important. Hubele writes about the little things that make a difference.

Hubele is entirely self-taught. His love for the blues started with listening to popular music on the radio as a teen. What caught his ear was Eric Burden’s ‘House of the Rising Sun’. He had no idea that it was the blues, but he just had to learn to play that song. His friend Butch, a redcap and co-worker at the Canadian Pacific Railroad, offered to loan him his electric guitar and amplifier and teach him how to play.

Hubele became fascinated with the earthy beat and emotional impact of the blues. He began listening to, and playing along with, B.B. King, Howlin’ Wolf, Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, and Freddie and Albert King.

Hubele’s introduction to jazz was through Chuck Tracy, a hard-core lounge musician and a really funny guy who was Hubele’s roomate for a while. In listening to him rehearse and perform, he got turned onto the music of Tom Waits, Mose Allison and Fats Waller. He also listened to Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Benny Goodman and - especially- Cab Calloway and Louis Jordan.

There is also a touch of country in Hubele’s music from growing up on the prairies on the fringe of Calgary, where music by Hank Williams, Hank Snow, and Marty Robbins was the background of his life.

Hubele’s interest in slide dobro came when he first heard Bonnie Raitt in the early 70s, and he had to learn how to make that ‘slidey’ sound. She had learned to play slide from Mississippi Fred McDowell. Hubele figured out how to tune his guitar to slide tuning, and eventually he got the hang of it.

Hubele writes when the song comes to him, about one each month. It takes one-half to two hours to write a song. The best ones often come the fastest. Polishing and learning a song takes about a couple of weeks.

His music can be previewed on his website
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